The Gravedigger's Daughter

The Gravedigger's Daughter

A Novel

Book - 2007
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In 1936 the Schwarts, an immigrant family desperate to escape Nazi Germany, settle in a small town in upstate New York, where the father, a former high school teacher, is demeaned by the only job he can get: gravedigger and cemetery caretaker. After local prejudice and the family's own emotional frailty result in unspeakable tragedy, the gravedigger's daughter, Rebecca, begins her astonishing pilgrimage into America, an odyssey of erotic risk and imaginative daring, ingenious self-invention, and, in the end, a bittersweet--but very "American"--triumph. "You are born here, they will not hurt you"--so the gravedigger has predicted for his daughter, which will turn out to be true.

In The Gravedigger's Daughter, Oates has created a masterpiece of domestic yet mythic realism, at once emotionally engaging and intellectually provocative: an intimately observed testimony to the resilience of the individual to set beside such predecessors as The Falls, Blonde, and We Were the Mulvaneys.

ISBN: 9780061236822
Characteristics: 582 pages ;,24 cm.


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May 21, 2011

This is an amazing story about the enduring power of family secrets. I had been avoiding this book because I know the author to be very dark. Although she lived up to this reuputation, she also demonstrated excellent storytelling and characterizations. It is a holocaust story that dwells on the nature of escape and survival.

Sep 02, 2010

Interesting story, good characters.

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